God's light outshines the darkness of depression
Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Depression, Freedom, God, Psalms
I’ve come across several teenagers lately who are depressed. It really shakes me up! These kids are in the prime of their life and yet they are bogged down by chains of gloom, fear, and discouragement.
When one is depressed, darkness reigns inside. I’m no psychiatrist, but I see it everywhere. Adults of every age are suffering, too. It can really knock the wind out of you to consider the sheer number of people who daily live in this reality. It is not of the Lord. The Bible says: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Because He is light and love, by all means, He wants us in the light with Him!
So, what are we to do?
I take great comfort and find specific direction for overcoming depression in Psalm 23. (And, no, this Psalm is not just for funerals! Unfortunately, it has that reputation. But it is, in fact, wisdom for everyday life.) Let’s observe it together and find God’s guidance for living free from chains of discouragement. Together, let’s find freedom in God’s marvelous light.
Psalm 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd.”
Notice the word “is.” This verse does not say, “I hope the Lord will be my shepherd,” nor does it say, “It would be nice if…” Rather, it says that the Lord IS my shepherd. He is present, right now, as my skillful guide. Worries focus on the unknowns of the future, but when we stay present we find the Lord Jesus Christ right by our side, guiding patiently as a shepherd does.
Also note the word “my.” God is personal. He is mine. I need not take my woes to anyone else, but instead I go right to Him. When we meditate on the reality of His present, personal nature, we come to realize that we are exactly where we need to be… and we are covered. The rest of verse 1 states, “I lack nothing.” Or, “I have everything I need.”
This is not “Christianese”. It is truth. We are in the care of a skillful Shepherd who loves us. This truth can revolutionize our mental outlook!
How does the 23rd Psalm minister to you? Why do we tend to reach out to God more, when we are walking in hard circumstances? Reach out to God now, and reach out to other Christians.
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